Question of Palestine home
Department of Public Information (DPI)
31 December 1962
OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK
QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE MIDDLE EAST
THE PALESTINE QUESTION
SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERATION
OF SYRIAN AND ISRAELI COMPLAINTS
Following fighting in the Lake Tiberias area in March 1962, Syria and Israel both complained to the Security Council, each charging the other with acts of aggression.
The Council considered the complaints at eight meetings, held on 28 March and on 3, 5, 6 and 9 April. The debates concluded with the adoption of a resolution submitted jointly by the United Kingdom and the United States. The vote was 10 to 0, with 1 abstention (France).
The resolution, among other things, reaffirmed a 1956 resolution condemning Israel military action in breach of the General Armistice Agreement; found that an attack by Israel against Syria in mid-March constituted a flagrant violation of that resolution; called upon Israel scrupulously to refrain from such action in the future; and called upon both Israel and Syria to abide scrupulously by the cease-fire arranged on 17 March by the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO), and to observe strictly their obligations under the General Armistice Agreement. (For further details of the resolution, see below.)
In making the request for a Council meeting Syria asked, in a letter dated 20 March, that it be convened "to consider the grave situation arising from the acts of aggression committed by Israel on the Syrian frontier and in the demilitarized zone, which threaten the peace and security of the region."
The Syrian request also referred to an earlier letter to the Council dated 17 March, which contained charges of successive acts of aggression committed by Israel during the night of 16-17 March 1962 at various points in Syrian territory.
Israel, in a letter dated 19 March, submitted a counter-charge to the effect that Syrian armed forces had committed a series of acts of aggression against Israel during the period 1 February-16 March 1962. Faced with these acts of provocation, and in discharge of its responsibility to protect Israeli citizens and also the territorial integrity of the State, the letter continued, Israel had been obliged on the night of 16-17 March to exercise its inherent right of self-defence, aimed at silencing one of the key positions in the Syrian fortified system over-looking Lake Tiberias. In a further letter, dated 21 March, Israel declared that there had been a recurrence of acts of aggression and provocation by Syrian armed forces. It also requested an early meeting of the Security Council.
In addition to the complaints by the two parties, the Council had before it a report on "recent dangerous developments in the Lake Tiberias area" from the Chief of Staff of UNTSO. The report, dated 26 March, said, among other things, that the Israel action on the night of 16-17 March had left "an aftermath of tension" and that the existing cease-fire was "an uneasy one."
The Chief of Staff expressed the belief that the main cause of the tension was suspicion by each of the parties that the other had built up its forces in the area and might continue to build them up. He added he had attempted to get both parties to agree to a few practical measures to alleviate the tension.
Syria, he said, had agreed to co-operate with UNTSO in setting up immediately an additional United Nations Observation Post in the vicinity of El-Khoursi, on the Syrian side of Lake Tiberias. Israel had agreed to keep its police boats off the lake for a few days until the Observation Post was organized.
The Chief of Staff also reported that in a conversation with the Foreign Minister of Israel on 21 March he had mentioned two other proposals which might help to relieve the tension. One of these concerned a proposal made in 1956 by the late Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold, regarding a special United Nations boat on Lake Tiberias. Israel had not accepted this proposal in 1956, but Mr. Hammarskjold had nevertheless found it necessary to maintain it. Although the Israel Government had later co-operated in establishing United Nations Observation Posts on Israel territory (a proposal it had rejected in 1956), the Chief of Staff was nonetheless given to understand that the suggestion of a special United Nations boat would still meet with strong objections.
The second proposal put forward by the UNTSO Chief of Staff was made both to the Foreign Minister of Israel and to the Chief of Staff of the Syrian Army. This suggested a visit by United Nations Military Observers to the Demilitarized Zone and to the "defensive areas," both established under the General Armistice Agreement. The object of the visit would be to check whether forces which had recently been brought into these sectors had been withdrawn, rather than to investigate past complaints by either side. The two parties would be required to co-operate with the Observers, who should enjoy the necessary freedom of movement. In an addendum to his report, dated 27 March, the Chief of Staff stated that both parties had agreed to the proposal in principle; he had therefore made arrangements for putting it into effect.
During the course of its debate, the Security Council agreed to a proposal by the United States that the Chief of Staff be invited to come to New York to be available for consultations with Council members. Following his arrival, he submitted to the Council written answers to question asked by the representatives of Ghana, Syria, the United Arab Republic and the United States.
In accordance with the Council's provisional rules of procedure, the representatives of Syria and Israel, who were not members of the Council, were invited to take part in the discussion, without the right to vote.
The debate was opened by the Syrian representative, who told the Council that the Israel attack of 16-17 March was an exact repetition of all the cases of aggression previously committed by Israel, for which it had been severely censured by the Council on numerous occasions. The constant attacks on Syrian territory arose not from a difference as to fishing rights in Lake Tiberias but from Israel's intention to occupy the eastern coast of the lake, the Syrian representative asserted, and he added that this was part and parcel of the general plan flowing from the very definition of Israel--a State whose frontiers were to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates. He demanded that the Council again condemn Israel for aggression.
In reply, the representative of Israel stated that the whole of Lake Tiberias formed part of Israel territory and that Syrian territory at no point touched the shore of the lake. In spite of this, Syrian armed forces had constantly tried to establish
control over the northeastern corner of the lake. The objective of the Israel action of 16-17 March had been a Syrian military position encroaching on the Demilitarized Zone, outside the Syrian frontier where its very existence constituted a flagrant violation of the Armistice Agreement. That position, which had been involved in Syria's attacks on Israel vessels on the lake, had been occupied and destroyed. The Israel Government reiterated its declared policy of adherence to the United Nations Charter and to the Armistice Agreement.
Both Syria and Israel submitted draft resolutions to the Council, neither of which was ultimately voted upon. (The Council's provisional rules of procedure allow the presentation of resolutions by parties to a dispute who have been invited to participate in a debate. The draft resolutions may not be put to a vote, however, unless a Council member so requests.)
By the Syrian draft, the Council would, in effect: (1) condemn Israel for its wanton attack on Syrian territory on the night of 16-17 March 1962; (2) again warn Israel of the Council's resolve to call for appropriate sanctions should it resort once more to such aggressive acts; and (3) invite Israel to comply with its obligations under the United Nations Charter and the General Armistice Agreement and, in particular, to comply with the UNTSO Chief of Staff's proposal about a United Nations boat on Lake Tiberias to help strengthen the armistice machinery and thus relieve tension in the area.
The representative of the United Arab Republic, who had proposed a vote on the Syrian text, withdrew his proposal with Syria's consent before a vote was taken on the joint United Kingdom-United States resolution (see below).
By the terms of the Israel draft resolution, the Council would, among other things: (1) express grave concern over attacks by Syrian armed forces against citizens and territory of Israel; (2) call upon Syria to abide fully by all the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement and in particular to prevent any illegal crossing from Syrian territory, to cease all interference with Israel activities on Lake Tiberias and to desist from firing into Israel territory; (3) find that Syria's policy of active hostility against Israel violated the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter, the Armistice Agreement, and previous resolutions of the Council and the General Assembly; and (4) call upon Syria to refrain from any threats against the territorial integrity or political independence of Israel.
The Israel draft resolution was not voted upon, as no member of the Council asked that it be put to the vote.
The representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom, sponsors of the joint draft resolution which was subsequently adopted, both emphasized, among other things, that there could be no justification for a policy of retaliation and that breaches of the peace could not and would not be tolerated.
The majority of speakers during the debate endorsed the various measures suggested by the Chief of Staff for strengthening the UNTSO machinery, deplored the retaliatory action taken by Israel, and urged both parties to the dispute to settle their differences through the Mixed Armistice Commission. The representative of France, who abstained in the vote, thought that the joint draft resolution did not adequately apportion the responsibilities, and that it presented a picture that was not entirely impartial. The events of 16-17 March had been provoked by the serious incidents of the preceding days.
The representative of the USSR expressed preference for the Syrian draft resolution, since in his view the two-power draft attempted to place the victim on an equal footing with the aggressor. He thought, however, that adoption of the joint draft should serve as a serious warning to Israel against any future violations of the Armistice Agreement. He also observed that his participation in any votes which might place would not imply any change in the position of the USSR with regard to the presence of the so-called United Nations forces in that part of the world.
The representative of the United Arab Republic made an unsuccessful request to the sponsors for a separate vote on some parts of the joint draft. He then said he did not wish his vote in favour of it to be construed in any way as acceptance of the implication that Syria and Israel were accorded equal treatment in its terms.
The representative of Syria maintained that the resolution did not go far enough in evaluating the facts of the case and the unavoidable consequences of those facts. The representative of Israel declared that the joint draft was so one-sided that it was not calculated to produce peaceful conditions.
One question raised by a number of speakers was Israel's failure, since 1951, to participate in the proceedings of the Syria-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission. This point was also one of the matters dealt with by the Chief of Staff in his written answers to questions. He expressed the belief that, if UNTSO had the full co-operation of both parties with regard to specified areas such as the Demilitarized Zone, violations of the Armistice Agreement and the cease-fire could be greatly reduced, if not altogether eliminated.
By the operative part of the joint draft resolution which was adopted on 9 April
, the Council: (1) deplored the hostile exchanges between Syria and Israel starting on 8 March, and called upon them to comply with their Charter obligations by refraining from the threat as well as the use of force; (2) reaffirmed the Council's resolution of 19 January 1956, which condemned Israel military action in breach of the General Armistice Agreement, whether or not undertaken by way of retaliation; (3) determined that the Israel attack of 16-17 March constituted a flagrant violation of that resolution and called upon Israel scrupulously to refrain from such action in future; (4) endorsed the measures recommended by the Chief of Staff for strengthening the UNTSO machinery and called upon the Israel and Syrian authorities to assist in their early implementation; (5) called upon both parties to abide scrupulously by the cease-fire arranged by the Chief of Staff on 17 March; (6) called for strict observance of provisions of the General Armistice Agreement regarding the exclusion of armed forces from the Demilitarized Zone and the limitation of forces in the Defensive Areas and charged the Governments of Israel and Syria to co-operate with the Chief of Staff in eliminating any violation of these provisions; (7) called upon the two Governments to co-operate with the Chief of Staff in carrying out his responsibilities under the General Armistice Agreement and the pertinent resolutions of the Council and urged that all necessary steps be promptly taken for reactivating the Mixed Armistice Commission and making full use of the Mixed Armistice machinery; and (8) requested the Chief of Staff to report as appropriate concerning the situation.
REPORT OF CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
On 7 December 1962, the United Nations Conciliation Commission submitted its twentieth progress report, covering the period from 14 October 1961 to 7 December 1962. The most significant aspect of the Commission's work, according to the report, lay in the renewal and intensification of the efforts of its Special Representative, Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, to facilitate progress towards implementing paragraph 11 of Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948. (That paragraph had to do with repatriation, compensation and resettlement of refugees.) The Commission stated that it intended to carry forward its initiative on that question.
The Commission also reported that its Technical Office had indicated completion of the valuation work of individual parcels of Arab refugee immovable property holdings in Israel. The Commission was of the opinion that the identification and valuation work had reached the point where the results could serve as the basis for the initiation of any compensation scheme which might be decided upon.
With regard to the release of Arab refugee bank accounts blocked in Israel, the Commission announced that as of 31 July 1962 a grand total of £3,532,088 sterling had been paid to owners of blocked accounts since the release operation had begun in 1953. The Commission hoped that its efforts to solve the long-standing problem of the release of unclaimed safe custody items would be successful.
In a letter of 28 January 1963 to the Commission, Dr. Johnson resigned as Special Representative, citing compelling personal commitments. In briefly reviewing his endeavours with the Governments of the four Arab host countries and of Israel, Dr. Johnson noted that those Governments were not prepared to accept the plan outlined in certain proposals which he had submitted to the Commission in late August 1962 and subsequently presented to the five States directly concerned. He believed that certain ideas that he had developed should be of use to the Commission as it continued its endeavours, but he felt that the role which a single individual representing the Conciliation Commission could play had for the time being been carried as far as practicable. In conclusion, he stated that he shared the view, implicit in repeated resolutions of the General Assembly, that paragraph 11 of Assembly resolution 194 (III) remained a proper basis for an equitable solution of the tragic human problem of the Arab refugee.
In its reply, the Commission accepted Dr. Johnson's resignation with great regret and expressed the conviction that his work would mark an important milestone in the search for a solution of this tragic problem.
On 2 March 1962, Syria complained to the Security Council that Israel authorities had persisted in carrying out works in preparation for pumping the waters of Lake Tiberias to the Negev. In its reply dated 16 March, Israel stated that the Syrian contentions were baseless, and had been advanced only for reasons of political expediency.
On 20 July, Jordan complained to the Security Council regarding Israel's failure to comply with a resolution adopted by the Mixed Armistice Commission on 12 December 1961, calling upon Israel to withdraw all activities and forces from the Jordanian side of the so-called Salt Pans area, lying to the south of the Dead Sea and rich in salt and mineral deposits.
In Israel stated on 1 August that the allegation that operations had been conducted across the demarcation line was "inadmissible and unfounded."
SECURITY COUNCIL, meetings 999-1006.
S/5090, S/5096, S/5097. Letters of 17 and 20 March 1962 from Syria.
S/5093, S/5098, S/5100, S/5104. Letters of 19, 21 and 22 March 1962 from Israel.
S/5109 and Add.1. Report of Chief of Staff of UNTSO on recent dangerous developments in Lake Tiberias area.
S/5107 and Rev.1. Syria: draft resolution.
S/5109. Letter of 4 April 1962 from Israel, submitting draft resolution.
S/5110 and Corr.1. United Kingdom and United States: draft resolution.
S/5111. RESOLUTION, as submitted by United Kingdom and United States (S/5110 and Corr.1 ), adopted by Council on 9 April 1962, meeting 1006, by 10 votes to 0, with 1 abstention (France).
"The Security Council,
its resolutions of 15 July 1948 and 18 May 1951,
considered the report of the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization the military activities in the Lake Tiberias area and in the Demilitarized Zone,
the statements of the representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and Israel,
"Being deeply concerned
over developments in the area have taken place in violation of the Charter and of the Armistice Agreement,
in particular the provisions of Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter, and Article 1 of the Syrian-Israeli General Armistice Agreement,
"Noting with satisfaction
that a cease-fire has been achieved,
the hostile exchanges between the Syrian Arab Republic and Israel starting on 8 March 1962 and calls upon the two Governments concerned to comply with their obligations under Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the Charter by refraining from the threat as well as the use of force;
the Security Council resolution of 19 January 1956 which condemned Israeli military action in breach of the General Armistice Agreement, whether or not undertaken by way of retaliation;
that the Israeli attack of 16-17 March 1962 constitutes a flagrant violation of that resolution and calls upon Israel scrupulously to refrain from such action in the future;
the measures recommended by the Chief of Staff for the strengthening of the Truce Supervision Organization in its tasks of maintaining and restoring the peace and of detecting and deterring future incidents, and calls upon the Israeli and Syrian authorities to assist the Chief of Staff in their early implementation;
both parties to abide scrupulously by the cease-fire arranged by the Chief of Staff on 17 March 1962;
strict observance of article 5 of the General Armistice Agreement which provides for the exclusion of armed forces from the Demilitarized Zone and Annex 4 of that Agreement which sets limits on forces in the Defensive Area, and calls upon the Governments of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic to co-operate with the Chief of Staff in eliminating any violations thereof;
the Governments of Israel and of the Syrian Arab Republic to co-operate with the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization in carrying out his responsibilities under the General Armistice Agreement and the pertinent resolutions of the Security Council and urges that all steps necessary for reactivating the Mixed Armistice Commission and for making full use of the Mixed Armistice machinery be promptly taken;
the Chief of Staff of the Truce Supervision Organization to report as appropriate concerning the situation.
S/5113. Letter of 10 April 1962 from Syria.
PALESTINE CONCILIATION COMMISSION
A/5337. United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine. Twentieth progress report (for period 14 October 1961-7 December 1962).
S/5084. Letter of 2 March 1962 from Syria.
S/5091. Letter of 16 March 1962 from Israel.
S/5144. Letter of 20 July 1962 from Jordan.
S/5152. Letter of 1 August 1962 from Israel.
A/5202. Report of Security Council to General Assembly, Chapter 2.
ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINE REFUGEES
During 1962, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) continued to maintain relief services, while strengthening its educational, health and other programmes designed to assist individual refugees.
REPORT OF COMMISSIONER-GENERAL OF UNRWA
The annual report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA--covering the period from 1 July to 30 June 1962--was submitted to the General Assembly's seventeenth session which opened on 18 September 1962.
In his report, the Commissioner-General said that the Agency had continued to provide essential relief services and had pressed forward with its vocational training programme, against a background of increasing financial difficulty. He emphasized the plight of the 30,000 refugees reaching maturity each year, in whose behalf the Agency had embarked in 1960 on a three-year programme of education and training. By 30 June 1963, he said, that programme as originally envisaged would be completed. There would then be 10 vocational training centres, with a total capacity of almost 4,000 trainees and an eventual graduation rate of about 2,000 each year, compared with 300 in 1960. The number of university scholarships had been increased to 500 a year, compared with 350 in 1960.
The Commissioner-General said that UNRWA faced a critical financial problem because its educational and training costs were increasing, whereas its regular income had remained "almost stationary." The Agency had struggled to meet the problem by holding relief costs to the low level of 1960, by raising funds from extra-budgetary sources and by drawing on its operating reserves. These extraordinary measures could not be relied upon in the future, however, and educational services might have to be cut back if the Agency's budget were not covered by income during 1963.
With regard to UNRWA's mandate, the Commissioner-General considered that UNRWA's relief and educational functions must be continued well beyond 30 June 1963 if refugees were not to suffer physically or be denied much needed educational opportunities and if reasonable stability was to exist in the region. The Agency's direct responsibility was to minister to the pressing needs of the refugees, and its by-product role, so to speak, was to contribute to the stability of the Middle East. It was not UNRWA's responsibility to solve the Palestine problem in its broader aspects, and, in the Commissioner-General's opinion, experience had indicated that, at least pending progress towards a general solution, UNRWA was not an appropriate agency to attempt works projects to provide rehabilitation.
In his view, it now seemed clear that the dominant forces responsible for the continuation of the refugee problem were: the impasse resulting from the deep feelings of the people of the Middle East about the problem; the general unemployable status of dependent refugees, and particularly of the maturing youth who were deficient in skills; and the over-all economic limitations of the host countries on absorbing refugees in addition to their own growing populations. The Commissioner-General felt it would be a mistake to assume that any economic and social absorption of the refugees into the Arab countries that might take place would dispose of the underlying, more basic issues of the Palestine problem. It was the depth of feeling among the peoples of the Middle East on these issues, far more than the continued existence and dependent status of a million Palestine refugees,
that today continued to undermine peace and stability in the Middle East and in the world.
During the calendar year 1962, the number of registered refugees rose by almost 28,000, bringing the total, as of 1 January 1963 to 1,189,573. There were 644,940 in Jordan, 273,038 in the Gaza Strip, 146,969 in Lebanon and 124,626 in Syria.
More than 40 per cent (or 491,364 of the refugees lived in the 57 UNRWA camps.
The Agency distributed basic dry rations to 74 per cent, or 881,496, of the registered refugees, providing each with 1,500 calories in summer and 1,600 in winter. A supplementary feeding programme provided extra food for children, pregnant and nursing women, tuberculosis patients and others vulnerable to malnutrition.
There were no major epidemics during 1962, and health records were satisfactory. UNRWA maintained 99 static and 12 mobile clinics and provided or subsidized 2,035 her pliable beds.
During the 1961-62 school year 18,772 refugee children received education with the Agency's assistance, 137,137 in UNRWA's 401 schools and the rest through grants to government or private schools. UNRWA university scholarships were given to 461 of the most gifted students.
During 1962, four new training centres were opened, extensions were either completed or started at three others and construction began on another new centre. The nine centres in operation at 31 December 1962 had a total capacity of about 3,700 trainees. A tenth centre was to be opened in 1963. The centres offered 27 vocational courses for men and 11 for girls, as well as teacher training and agricultural training.
The Agency's welfare services included the provision of assistance to individual cases of extreme hardship and the operation of a programme designed to help those refugees who wanted to improve their conditions. This programme included the operation of youth activities centres, adult training courses, small refugee co-operatives and embroidery centres.
Each refugee in need of clothing received 1.7 kilogrammes of used clothing. UNRWA paid $150,000 in ocean freight for transport to bring to the Middle East the 1,600 tons of clothing collected and donated by voluntary agencies.
CONSIDERATION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA was considered by the General Assembly's Special Political Committee at meetings held between 29 November and 18 December 1962.
Introducing his report, the Commissioner-General reviewed the Agency's three-year programme--begun in 1959--for assistance to young refugees. Throughout the three-year period, he said, the Agency would have held
relief expenditure at the 1960 level. It would almost have kept pace with the host countries in raising the level of education, through increased enrolment and by adding more year to the curriculum. It would also have expanded its vocational and teacher training programmes considerably.
Referring to the Agency's financial position, the Commissioner-General said that regular contributions from Governments had remained almost constant at about $34 million a year, or approximately the Agency's expenditure level for 1960. The Agency had therefore redoubled its efforts to raise money from extra-budgetary sources and had managed to raise almost $6 million, to which it was seeking to add 2,000 scholarships of $500 each. Even so, he added, the Agency expected to end the three-year mandate period with a cumulative deficit of about $4 million, which would have to be taken from the working reserve. The educational needs of the Palestine refugees would continue to increase for an indefinite period. However, he added, the Agency would be unable to meet those needs out of extra-budgetary contributions, and still less out of savings in relief expenditure, for although education was of the highest importance in the long run, essential food and health services must receive day-to-day priority. In other words, if UNRWA's mandate was extended beyond 30 June 1963, the Agency would need an increase of $3 million in regular Government contributions unless its programme of assistance to young people was to collapse, with tragic consequences. The essential problem, said the Commissioner-General, was to find the necessary funds for education while at the same time maintaining the relief services.
In a letter dated 2 November 1962, representatives of 11 Arab States asked the Special Political Committee to grant a hearing to "the Palestine Arab Delegation," composed of 13 persons. After an exchange of views, the Committee on 29 November agreed to grant a hearing to spokesmen mentioned in that communication.
During the Committee's debate on the Commissioner-General's report, the representatives of the Arab States repeated their demand for the repatriation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III). They argued that all the United Nations resolutions on the Palestine question should be fully implemented before any question of direct negotiations and peace talks with Israel could arise. In any event, only the Arab community of Palestine was competent to negotiate a final settlement of the Palestine question. Until the legitimate rights of the refugees were restored, a custodian should be appointed for the administration and protection of Arab property within Israel.
The representative of Israel stated that the Arab refugees could not be allowed to return to Israel where they would constitute an instrument in the war waged against Israel by the neighbouring Arab States. The central theme of the Arab States, it was said, was that Israel had no right to exist and should be destroyed. Israel would welcome any proposal calling for the settlement of the dispute by peaceful means. The proposal that a custodian be appointed for the administration and protection of Arab property in Israel had been repeatedly rejected by the General Assembly. The United Nations, Israel contended, had no competence to interfere with Israel property law.
The idea of direct negotiations between Israel and the Arab States was supported by a number of representatives, chiefly from African States. Others, while supporting this proposal, believed that parallel efforts should be undertaken to reach some settlement of the refugee question. The representative of New Zealand, among others, urged Israel to offer a substantial number of refugees the opportunity to return to their homes, on the understanding that their repatriation would be subject to the normal requirements of national security.
The USSR representative declared that his Government had always called for the recognition of the refugees' rights under paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) and maintained that a settlement should be effected in accordance with that resolution. Failure to obtain such a settlement would threaten not only the prestige of the United Nations but also the cause of peace and stability throughout the Middle East and in the world.
The United States representative said his Government agreed that UNRWA's mandate should be extended until 30 June 1965. This, he said, was a concession to the views of other interested delegations. While no early end to the situation could be foreseen, conditions were subject to change, and accordingly he felt that United Nations assistance to the Arab refugees should be subjected to searching re-examination at every regular session of the General Assembly.
All speakers in the debate commended the Commissioner-General and the work of UNRWA in behalf of the refugees.
Three draft resolutions were submitted in the Special Political Committee. The first of these, sponsored by 21 powers, called, among other things, for a renewal of the Assembly's appeal to the Governments concerned to under take direct negotiations--with the assistance of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine, if they so desired--to find a solution, acceptable to all parties concerned, for all the questions in dispute between them, particularly the question of the Arab refugees. This draft was sponsored by Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Dahomey, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gabon, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Upper Volta and Uruguay.
The second draft, proposed by Afghanistan, Indonesia, Mauritania and Pakistan, would have the General Assembly, among other things: (
) ask the Secretary-General to appoint a United Nations Custodian for the administration and protection of Arab property, assets and property rights within Israel; (
) ask the United Nations Custodian to report to the eighteenth session of the Assembly on the fulfilment of his task; and (
) call upon the Governments concerned to render the Custodian all facilities and assistance.
The third, submitted by the United States, could, among other things, have the General Assembly: (
) express its thanks to the Commissioner-General and the staff of the Agency for their continued efforts to provide essential services for the Palestine refugees and to the specialized agencies and private organizations for their valuable work in assisting the refugees; (
) express its thanks to the Conciliation Commission for Palestine for its efforts to find a way to progress on the Palestine Arab refugee problem pursuant to paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and request the Commission to continue its endeavours with the Member States directly concerned; (
) ask the Secretary-General to provide the staff and facilities that the Commission might require in carrying on its work; (
) decide to extend UNRWA's mandate until 30 June 1965; and (
) _________ to consider increasing their contributions, so that the Agency could carry out its essential programmes.
An amendment to the United States draft was proposed by Cyprus, to add a preambular paragraph by which the Assembly would note with deep regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), had not been effected.
On 18 December, the Committee proceeded to tote on the three draft resolutions and the amendment before it. At the request of the United States representative, priority was given to the United States draft.
The Cyprus amendment to the United States draft was adopted by a roll-call vote of 68 to 2, with 34 abstentions. The United States draft, as thus amended, was adopted by a vote of 101 to 0, with 2 abstentions, after the individual operative paragraphs of the text had been adopted in separate votes.
The sponsors of the other two draft resolutions before the Committee said they would not press their respective texts to the vote.
In a plenary meeting on 20 December 1962, the General Assembly, after voting separately on certain paragraphs of the Special Political Committees recommendation, adopted the draft resolution as a whole by 100 votes to 0, with 2 abstentions, as resolution 1856 (XVII).
PLEDGES AND PAYMENTS FOR 1962-1963
During the financial (calendar) year 1962, 44 countries and territories pledged the equivalent of $34,308,775 for UNRWA's activities. By 31 December 1962, the equivalent of $34,039,325 had been received in payment of these pledges and $818,116 was received from pledges of previous years. At the end of the year, unpaid pledges amounted to $269,450 for 1962 and $302,656 for previous years.
As of December 1962, UNRWA had received pledges of approximately $32.5 million for 1963.
PLEDGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNRWA
FOR YEAR ENDING 31 DECEMBER 1962
(Showing equivalent in U.S. dollars of pledges
and contributions in cash, kind and services)
Government Pledge Received
Australia 201,600 201,600
Austria 2,000 2,000
Belgium 30,000 30,000
Cambodia 571 571
Canada 925,000 886,428
Ceylon 1,000 -
Cyprus 563 563
Denmark 50,680 50,680
Federation of Malaya 1,500 1,500
Finland 10,000 10,000
France 192,458 192,458
Gaza Authorities 86,504 86,504
Republic of 625,000 625,000
Ghana 3,000 -
Greece 15,000 15,000
Holy See 1,000 1,000
India 21,008 -
Iran 6,000 -
Ireland 20,000 20,000
Italy 80,000 -
Japan 10,000 10,000
Jordan 100,820 100,820
Kuwait 220,000 220,000
Lebanon 44,967 44,967
Liberia 5,000 5,000
Luxembourg 3,000 3,000
Monaco 204 204
Morocco 19,802 19,802
Netherlands 110,497 110,497
New Zealand 140,000 140,000
Norway 49,000 49,000
Pakistan 20,964 20,964
Sudan 2,870 -
Sweden 482,950 355,950
Switzerland 216,116 216,116
Syrian Arab Republic 96,987 96,987
Tunisia 2,000 2,000
Turkey 8,000 8,000
United Arab Republic 359,214 359,214
United Kingdom 5,400,000 5,400,000
United States* 24,700,000 24,700,280
Viet-Nam, Rep. Of 2,500 2,500
Total 34,308,775 34,039,325
*The United States pledge is payable on a matching basis, not to exceed 70 per cent of contributions paid by all Governments. The pledge is made over the fiscal period 1 July-30 June; the pledge for both 1961-62 and 1962-63 was $24,700,000.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--17th SESSION.
Special Political Committee, meetings 358-376.
Fifth Committee, meeting 982.
Plenary Meetings, 1129, 1200.
A/5214. Annual report of Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East, 1 July 1961-30 June 1962.
A/SPC/74. Letter of 2 November 1962 from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and United Arab Republic requesting that a Palestinian Arab Republic delegation be heard by Special Political Committee.
A/SPC/L.89 and Add.1. Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Dahomey, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gabon, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Upper Volta, Uruguay: draft resolution.
A/SPC/L.90. Afghanistan, Indonesia, Mauritania, Pakistan: draft resolution.
A/SPC/L.91. United States: draft resolution, as amended by Cyprus (A/SPC/L.93), adopted by Special Political Committee on 18 December 1962, meeting 375, by 101 votes to 0, with 2 abstentions.
A/SPC/L.93. Cyprus: amendment to United States draft resolution, A/SPC/L.91.
A/SPC/76. Text of resolution adopted by Special Political Committee.
A/C.5/969. Report of Secretary-General on financial implications of draft resolution adopted by Special Political Committee.
A/5387. Report of Special Political Committee.
RESOLUTION 1856 (XVII), as recommended by Special Political Committee, A/5387, adopted by Assembly on 20 December 1962, meeting 1200, by 100 votes to 0, with 2 abstentions.
"The General Assembly
its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, 393 (V) and 394 (V) of 2 and 14 December 1950, 512 (VI) and 513 (VI) of 26 January 1952, 614 (VII) of 6 November 1952, 720 (VIII) of 27 November 1953, 818 (IX) of 4 December 1954, 916 (X) of 3 December 1955, 1018 (XI) of 28 February 1957, 1191 (XII) of 12 December 1957, 1315 (XIII) of 12 December 1958, 1456 (XIV) of 9 December 1959, 1604 (XV) of 21 April 1961 and 1725 (XVI) of 20 December 1961,
the annual report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, covering the period from 1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962,
"Noting with deep regret
that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III) has not been effected, that no substantial progress has been made in the programme endorsed in paragraph 2 of resolution 513 (VI) for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of serious concern,
its thanks to the Commissioner-General and the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for their continued faithful efforts to provide essential services for the Palestine refugees, and to the specialized agencies and private organizations for their valuable work in assisting the refugees;
Expresses its thanks
to the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for its efforts to find a way to achieve progress on the Palestine Arab refugee problem pursuant to paragraph 11 of resolution 194 (III), and requests the Commission to continue its endeavours with the Member States directly concerned;
the Secretary-General to provide the staff and facilities that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine may require in carrying on its work;
to extend the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East until 30 June 1965;
to the precarious financial position of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute, and contributing Governments to consider increasing their contributions, so that the Agency can carry out its essential programmes."
THE UNITED NATIONS EMERGENCY FORCE
A report by the Secretary-General on the organization and functioning of the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East (UNEF) and on financial arrangements and cost estimates pertaining to the Force was considered at the General Assembly's seventeenth session in 1962.
The report, which covered developments in the 12-month period following 31 August 1961, pointed out that there had been no appreciable change in the relationship between the United Arab Republic and Israel pertaining to the operation of UNEF during the period under review and that virtually uninterrupted peace and quiet had prevailed all along the Armistice Demarcation Line in the Gaza Strip and on the international frontier in the Sinai Peninsula. UNEF had continued to be the decisive influence in the maintenance of these conditions. The report stated that cases of infiltration and other incidents had been few and of a minor nature. The confidence of the population in the prevailing peaceful conditions was reflected in the markedly increased agricultural development that was taking place.
The total strength of UNEF as of 31 July 1962 stood at 5,133, national contingents being supplied by Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden and Yugoslavia.
On 20 December 1962, the Assembly took note of the Secretary-General's report, without adopting a formal resolution.
(See also pp. 473, 541, and 551 for information concerning the financing of UNEF.)
GENERAL ASSEMBLY--17TH SESSION
Plenary Meeting 1201.
A/5172. Report of Secretary-General on UNEF.